Colgate-Palmolive Company, manufacturer of the Hill's Science Diet petfood brand, has been losing market share to competitors as consumers are increasingly choosing petfoods that more closely resemble their own foods.
The company brings in about 13 percent of a total US$17 billion in sales from the Hill's petfood division; however, it has been losing market share to smaller petfood companies that manufacture natural petfoods or premium petfoods with high-quality ingredients.
In an effort to compete, Hill's introduced the Science Diet Nature's Best line, which included ingredients like lamb, brewers rice, soybean meal and apples. But, "the consumer had a disconnect with this idea of Science Diet and a naturals product," said Ian Cook, Colgate CEO. The company also recently reformulated its Science Diet line to no longer include chicken by-products and feature a more prominent listing of ingredients.
Although Colgate posted higher fourth-quarter results overall, the Hill's petfood division's sales fell 1 percent and operating profit fell 2 percent. The company plans to launch a new brand of petfood in March, which will contain ingredients such as chicken, salmon, fruits and vegetables, with no corn, wheat or soy.